RIU Explorers: 5 ASX Stocks to Watch in 2020

A look at the five nominees for the prestigious Craig Oliver Award, presented at this year’s RIU Explorers Conference in Western Australia.

At this year’s RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Western Australia, five nominees for the Craig Oliver Award took centre stage.

The award is given annually to an “all round” small- to mid-cap Australian mining company that has excelled in various areas over the past 12 months, including exploration, mining and market results, as well as corporate, environmental and community activity. It is presented in memory of Oliver’s contribution to Australian mining during his 20 year career.

Read on to learn more about this year’s nominees and what they are focused on.

1. Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY)

Market cap: AU$149.66 million; current share price: AU$0.70

Stavely Minerals, the winner of this year’s Craig Oliver Award, holds interests in several projects in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Its two flagships are Stavely and Ararat, which host inferred mineral resources that contain over 130,000 tonnes of copper and over 19,000 ounces of gold, plus zinc and silver. The company has been trading on the ASX since 2014, after it completed a successful initial public offering that raised AU$6.1 million.

Shares of Stavely jumped last year after the company announced a shallow high-grade copper-gold discovery in its first diamond drill hole at the Thursday’s Gossan prospect, which is part of its Stavely project in Victoria.

2. Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK)

Market cap: AU$548.13 million; current share price: AU$0.94

Gold producer Alkane Resources has projects and operations in the Central West region of New South Wales. In 2019, the company put out 49,000 ounces of gold at its Tomingley project. Alkane is aiming to produce between 30,000 and 35,000 ounces in 2020. However, its main asset is the Dubbo project, where it aims to produce zirconium, hafnium, niobium and certain rare earths.

Last year, the company’s share price increased more than 195 percent, from AU$0.20 to AU$0.59. A significant porphyry gold-copper mineralisation discovery at its Boda prospect, within its Molong porphyry project, drove Alkane’s shares to their highest point in 2019 at AU$0.84.

3. Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL)

Market cap: AU$327.70 million; current share price: AU$0.58

Focused on Western Australia, Bellevue Gold is developing the historic Bellevue gold mine, which in the past produced 800,000 ounces at 15 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. The company has a compliant independent JORC inferred resource inventory of 1,800,000 ounces at 11.1 g/t gold, making it one of the highest-grade undeveloped gold discoveries in the world.

Bellevue’s share price had a volatile 2019, but in June the stock hit its highest point at AU$0.73. The company had plenty of news flow throughout the year, including an increase in the Bellevue mine’s mineral resource to more than 1.5 million ounces of gold, as well as speculation of a potential takeover.

4. Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR)

Market cap: AU$1.47 billion; current share price: AU$1.67

Mid-tier gold producer Gold Road Resources owns 50 percent of the world-class Gruyere gold mine, which was developed via a joint venture with Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) and produced its first gold in June 2019. With a mineral resource of 5.8 million ounces, including an ore reserve of 3.6 million ounces, Gruyere is forecast to produce on average 300,000 ounces annually for at least 12 years.

It was a busy 2019 for Gold Road Resources, which saw its share price begin to climb after pouring its first gold bar at Gruyere. The stock continued to trend higher as Gruyere started to ramp up in August, hitting its highest point of the year at AU$1.62.

5. Image Resources (ASX:IMA)

Market cap: AU$201.10 million; current share price: AU$0.20

A minerals sands company, Image Resources operates the zircon-rich Boonanarring project in Western Australia. Boonanarring has an initial mine life of 5.5 years of ore reserves and produces heavy mineral concentrate (HMC), which contains zircon and ilmenite, as well as lesser quantities of rutile and leucoxene. Image is forecast to produce an average of 240,000 tonnes of HMC per year.

Image’s share price also had a volatile year, but finished 2019 up more than 38 percent at AU$0.25. Its most significant news came in late May, when the company secured sales agreements for all HMC inventory. In July, when its share price was trading at its peak at AU$0.30, Image gave a quarterly update, saying it had increased its cash balance and updated its guidance for the year.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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